Basil is a highly fragrant herb most often used as a seasoning in cooking, but also it has become increasingly popular for its various health benefits. Basil leaves and flowers contain many chemical compounds that are known to prevent disease and promote health.
This low-calorie herb is rich with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. In addition, it offers essential nutrients including vitamins A, C and K, as well as manganese, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium and omega-3 fats. All these nutrients are very good for your overall health.
Here are top 10 health benefits of basil.
1. Treats Common Colds
Basil leaves can be used in the treatment of fever and common cold. Chew some fresh basil leaves for relief from colds and flus. During the rainy season, when there is risk of malaria and dengue fever, try to consume tender leaves of basil after boiling it in water. This will help you to keep yourself safe from these kinds of fever. When suffering from acute fever, a decoction of the basil leaves boiled with powdered cardamom in one cup of water must be consumed several times a day. The juice of basil leaves can be used to bring down high temperature.
2. Relieves Cough
Basil is a key ingredient in cough syrups and expectorants. But instead of buying those, you can make a home remedy that works just as well. Add eight basil leaves and five cloves to a cup of water and boil it for 10 minutes. You can add some salt for taste. Allow it to cool and then drink it to relieve coughing. For sore throat due to a cough, gargle with water boiled with basil leaves. Various compounds in basil help mobilize mucus, so it is also an effective treatment for other respiratory problems such as bronchitis and asthma.
3. Boost Immune System
Eating fresh basil leaves regularly will give your immune system a boost. Studies show that the various chemical compounds in basil may improve the body’s production of infection-fighting antibodies by up to 20 percent. For best results, use fresh basil rather than dried versions.
4. Stress Buster
Basil leaves also are regarded as an anti-stress agent. Various studies have shown that the leaves provide significant protection against stress. Health experts recommend chewing 10 to 12 leaves of basil, twice a day, to prevent feeling stressed and developing stress-related disorders. Chewing the leaves daily can also help purify your blood.
5. Improves Vision
Just 100 grams of fresh basil leaves provide the recommended daily dose of vitamin A. Vitamin A has antioxidant properties and is essential for healthy vision. Fresh basil juice is an effective remedy for sore eyes and night-blindness, which is commonly caused by Vitamin A deficiency. For sore eyes, put two drops of black basil juice into the affected eye daily before going to bed.
6. Prevents Acne
This herb prevents acne outbreaks and also speeds up the healing process of acne lesions. The oil in fresh basil leaves helps clear bacteria from the skin that contribute to clogged pores, a primary cause of acne. If you already have acne, apply basil juice to the affected areas to help destroy the bacteria. Basil can also be used to treat other skin problems such as ringworm, psoriasis and insect bites. The anti-inflammatory properties in fresh basil juice will reduce skin inflammation and provide relief. It also can be used to make your skin soft, supple and healthy.